My classroom is specifically designed for students with moderate to severe autism spectrum disorder. I have 12 amazing students, all with varying needs, abilities, and grades. I teach in an elementary school and have kindergarten, first, and second graders all in one room. Because early intervention and education is so important, I strive to give my students the best start to their education possible. Many of my students struggle with self-regulation and sensory processing, which takes away from their ability to focus and learn in the classroom.
My students are in need of alternative seating options, which provide them with appropriate and safe ways to self-regulate and gain the sensory input they crave during instructional times throughout the school day.
By providing my students with flexible seating options, designed to promote sensory integration during instruction, the goal is to increase meaningful, instructional time while decreasing inappropriate, disruptive behaviors that take away from instruction. My students truly want to learn and succeed in school, they just need a little extra help in getting ready to do so.
Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often struggle to sit still for extended periods of time and focus on teacher-directed tasks because of deficits in self-regulation and sensory processing skills. Research has shown that alternative seating options, which engage students' sensory needs and aid in self-regulate, can have a positive impact on their engagement and focus during instructional activities, while also decreasing behaviors which impede learning. Allowing my students to use flexible seating options, like the Regency Stool and Big Joe Beanbag Chair during instructional times will provide them appropriate, safe ways to self-regulate and gain the sensory input they need in order to focus and learn.
Using alternative seating during instructional time will also enhance the quality of instruction by providing my students with an appropriate means for sensory input and self-regulation that does not take away from instruction, but instead increases their in-seat behavior and time on task.
These options will be used during multiple instructional times throughout the day, with the hope of not only aiding in sensory input, but also helping my students take responsibility of their regulation. Providing my students with these options, which differ in the sensory input they provide, will also give them the independence and responsibility to make decisions regarding their own self-regulation and sensory processing.
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